STATEMENT: U.S. District Court Decision Another Blow for Consumers and an Independent Consumer Watchdog, Says CAP’s Consumer Finance Director

Washington, D.C. — Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Deputy Director Leandra English serves as the acting director until a new director is nominated and confirmed by the Senate.

Today, U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, a judge nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by a Republican-led Senate, denied the temporary restraining order English had filed to block Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, from serving as acting director. Joe Valenti, director of Consumer Finance at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:

When the Dodd-Frank Act was written, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was clearly meant to be an independent watchdog for the American public against the types of abusive financial practices that led to the Great Recession. This follows in the long tradition of financial regulatory agencies, such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, being independent of the administration’s political arm. By putting a partisan White House official in charge of the CFPB, Trump’s interim appointment is yet another unprecedented massive power grab behind closed doors that threatens the financial well-being of American families.

While the legality of Trump’s appointment may continue to proceed through the courts, it is already clear that Mulvaney is an unbelievably poor choice. Beyond simply a distinct lack of interest or experience in consumer protection law or enforcement, he has an extensive voting record in which he actually took sides with predatory lenders, mortgage companies, and others against American consumers. Appointing him to lead an agency that he once called a “sad, sick joke” means that the real joke is on the American people who deal with deceptive or outright illegal financial industry practices. From the financial crisis to Equifax’s and Wells Fargo’s more recent scandals, financial wrongdoing does not discriminate between Democrats and Republicans. It harms all Americans.

With this appointment, closely following Trump’s reversal of protections that would ensure victims’ day in court, it is clear that this administration’s tradition of appointing individuals to agencies who only seek to undermine them knows no bounds.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at or 202.478.6331.